Help with 2nd Hand Purchase

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PCRanger, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. PCRanger macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2006
    London, UK
    Right, so I'm in a right pickle here, and I've done my brain in thinking about this too much, so I'll lay down the situation, and hopefully people will be able to give me some kind of pointer of which option I should choose...:eek:

    I've been saving up money gradually, and have about £900 maximum at my disposal, although I'd rather keep more saved if possible!

    I currently shoot with a Nikon D50 with standard kit lens 18-55mm
    I originally went on eBay looking for a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can start trying my hand at sports/music photography.
    So I added several to my watch list, which was all fine and dandy, and saw them going for prices from £100-300ish.
    The problem started, when I saw one guy selling his, but stating that he'd consider reasonable offers to settle outside of the auction. Being me, I decided to look at his other items to see if there was anything else of interest...
    So I find out he's selling his D200, with battery grip and 12GB worth of CompactFlash memory as well! I decide to offer him £650 for the lens and the D200 (fairly cheeky of me!), and he messaged back saying he was hoping to get around £400 for the lens, as it was in good condition, but he'd do the lens and the D200 for £800.
    Now I don't know if this is a good deal, especially as I don't know how many shots have been fired, and whether I actually need to upgrade from my D50 to a D200. I did a little research on the internet, and it turns out this guy was a semi-pro photographer, and had some photos of his on the BBC etc.
    So he could have knackered that camera out quite a bit!

    The question is, should I save my money, find the lens from another auction and then perhaps upgrade to a newer model of camera later on down the road when I actually need to, or should I just plunge headfirst into this offer?
    I calculated the value of the gear he's offering to me at about £1870 new from Jessops. Hardly the cheapest place to get a good price from, but still a rough estimate.

    Anyway, I think I've blabbered on enough, and probably been fairly incoherant throughout, so I'll leave my post there, to hopefully receive some words of advice from the kind people of MR :eek:
  2. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    New York City
    That strikes me as a fairly good deal. I got a little overwhelmed thinking through the conversions but around these parts, a good used D200 runs around USD$900 (£450, I would guesstimate). If you were thinking of paying £400 for the lens (which seems like a fair price if its in good condition), then it seems like this package might be a good shot.

    Do make sure to ask explicitly how many clicks the camera has, the physical condition, whether its been used in extreme conditions or not etc... try to check it out before you buy, if you can. Semi pro doesn't necessarily mean he beats his gear up, but it doesn't mean he babies it either.
  3. zirkle2007 macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2007
    Indiana, USA
    You can trust people as much as you want, but when it comes to eBay, don't go outside of listed items. eBay tells you this and there is nothing they can do to protect you if you do. It sounds like a good deal and all, but I'd just hate to see you get ripped off. But besides that, can he not give you an estimate as to use and such?
  4. PCRanger thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2006
    London, UK
    I may ask him to send a screenshot of the shutter count then!
    I am pretty worried about sending him £800 via paypal directly too. On eBay, there's buyer protection, but outside of it there's nothing.
    I have managed to find his address and contact details via my internet snooping though!
    Thank you very much for your input so far guys!
    Has anyone got any input on the non-financial side of things? Would I really see that much improvement with a D200 over my D50? I would like to have a go at getting out there and getting a bit serious with the photography, as I do love it, but should I invest in just glass now, and perhaps buy a D300, or something like that when the prices come down?
    So many questions, I know, but it took me quite a while to save the money, and there really isn't anything worse than buyers remorse!

    EDIT: Also, what kind of shutter count would be considered bad, and what would be a good number for me to still get a good life out of the body?

    Thank you in advance! :eek:
  5. juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    For what it's worth,
    Ask him to send you a raw or unedited jpg file or post it on his website for you to download.
    You'll be able to see if it has any dead/hot pixels, dust... and see the number of actuations in the exif data.


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